Customer Reviews


60 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (19)
3 star:
 (13)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macabre but brilliant
`The Comfort of Strangers', McEwan's second novel was published at a time when this bright new talent was causing controversy and had been christened Ian Mcabre by critics shocked by the brutality of his themes and his fearless exploration of dark, previously taboo subjects such as incest, sadomasochism and child abduction. With its theme of unhealthy homoerotic obsession...
Published on 15 Jun 2007 by Eleanor Fitzsimons

versus
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written and shockingly haunting...
Being an Ian McEwan fan I couldn't wait to read this. It only took me one sitting and as always was very readable and totally engrossing - causing mounting fear and tension like only McEwan knows how to, with nothing in particular happening but an increasing sensation that something is about to (how does he do that?!). The book is set in Venice which adds to the calm...
Published on 28 Jan 2006 by Shimsham


‹ Previous | 14 5 6 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, captivating, 31 Oct 2010
I have read most of Ian McEwan's books and found this one typical of his style, with a macabre atmosphere to the storyline. Although it is dark and disturbing I found it captivating. The style of writing makes you want to read on. The descriptions of Venice portray creepy, narrow streets between the brighter tourist ones.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad, but not one of his best, 12 July 2010
Ian McEwan always writes beautifully and always manages to create an eerie atmosphere: even when there's not much happening in the storyline or even if there's a pleasant enough atmosphere on the surface there's always a sense that something is about to go horribly wrong.

Both the characters and the storyline were "thinner" than usual (and I don't mean that in the quantitative sense!)

Overall, not bad but my feeling is that McEwan has written much better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Sep 2014
I thought it was more of a novella than a novel!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted, 11 Jan 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is exquisitely written however the subject matter is challenging. It is a complex story and despite it's title not a comforting read. It is a book that satisfied my need for good literature but left me feeling perplexed and a little depressed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 20 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Kindle Edition)
Why is Venice so spooky for authors?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, chilling love story which has you gripped, 3 Oct 2000
By A Customer
After reading Enduring Love I was keen to read other McEwan books, but this was too disturbing for my liking. Sure, you can't put it down and feel urged to read on, but all the way through I kept thinking the characters in this book must be completely niaive to trust foreign strangers in the way that they do. Speaking as an experienced independent traveller myself I find the story therefore lacking in credibility
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dark, 1 April 2004
By 
Julia (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Being an early work, this book is more like Beneath the Sheets and The Cement Garden rather than Atonement or Amsterdam. It starts innocuously enough with a rather self-obsessed couple holidaying in Venice, and ends violently and grotesquely. It is superbly written, but the darkness, violence and conclusion meant that I didn't enjoy it, so have only given it 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Second Novel by Ian McEwan, 26 Jan 2003
By 
taking a rest - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
I would guess like many readers I came upon this writer's work when he began receiving international acclaim for his work, "Amsterdam", in 1998 when the novel won The Booker Prize. I have read his work that has been published after that tale, and now have been going back to his earlier work, a decision that can be very rewarding, or quite the opposite. I suppose expecting earlier work to be less mature or skillful is reasonable, but there are also writers that appear with an initial work that is very good or even excellent, and they manage, with some exceptions, to keep the quality of work very high. Other writers peak with their first book, there are no rules.
"The Comfort Of Strangers" is the second novel that Mr. McEwan published, and it would be fair to call it more of a short story. I don't know what divides a short story from a novella from a novel; it appears publishers use the terms interchangeably at times. From the two earlier works I have read, this book along with, "The Innocent", Mr. McEwan to date, sits in the category of writers who get better as they hone their craft. This may appear to be the normal course of a writer's development, but we all have read otherwise.
My primary complaint with this book is that the author worked around the fringes of what many would consider taboo conduct, darts in for a moment or two of detail, but does not fully explore the issues he touches upon, nor does he complete his tale. Another author that I am a great admirer of is Penelope Fitzgerald who said she never let her characters decide where they would go in a story, she decided their every move. Now again this may sound obvious, who controls their characters if not the author, but she was speaking of having a plan for her players from opening page to closing paragraph. Mr. McEwan does not manage the detail of his characters here, he asks the reader to fill in the detail or in some cases the blanks. In this book I do not like the decision he made, but for admirers of his work that wish to go back to his earlier published material, this is a quick and interesting read of an author that has gone on to be internationally recognized.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, Tame and a waste of money, 21 Dec 2012
By 
P. Horrex "bristolre" (Enfield, Greater London, UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't believe how tame and boring this book is. Nothing really happens, nothing to get your teeth in to at all. Just a ramble about an English couple on holiday, with a twist at the end. I was very disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McEwanfest, 4 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Kindle Edition)
Tour a great city, peep into the lives of others and share an unexpected journey.
Ian McEwan seldom disappoints and often dabbles in different worlds. The Comfort of Strangers took me from the place of "warm, familiar" to "cold and ugly."
If this were a film, I'd be waiting for a sequel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 14 5 6 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Comfort Of Strangers
£3.32
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews